Sheridan says talks ongoing for power cable funding

Ryan Ross
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A crew of four divers from Marenco Engineering load a fishing boat with gear as Maritime Electric begins preliminary work looking at options for routes a new underwater power cable could take.

With Maritime Electric doing preliminary work on a new power cable to the mainland, Energy Minister Wes Sheridan says discussions are ongoing with the federal government over funding.

Sheridan said the province is looking for the federal government to pay a share of the costs and it has come to the point that tough decisions need to be made.

He also said it will take time to finish different parts of the project, such as ordering the cable.

“That gives us a little bit of time to hammer down the deal but it would certainly be nice to have all of those decisions made very quickly and soon with the federal government so we can do it in good order.”

On Monday, divers started preliminary work in the Northumberland Strait to measure the bedrock depth ahead of a survey team in June.

Maritime Electric expects that growing demand for electricity will require a new cable to be in place for 2016.

P.E.I. is served by two cables to the mainland that were installed in 1977.

Sheridan said he hopes to have a funding agreement in place in time, but if there isn’t one by the end of the summer a tough decision will have to be made.

“This is very important to us.”

Opposition Leader Steven Myers said it’s clear Maritime Electric is leading the charge on the new cable because when the provincial government had federal infrastructure funding it spent it on other projects.

“They never made it a priority and it’s never been a priority of this government.”

Sheridan said the cable has been at the top of the province’s list of infrastructure priorities for the last three years.

“We’re looking at the best way that we can all make this work out for all Islanders and rate payers for Maritime Electric at the same time so it’s important that we get this right.”

But Myers said if the third cable was a priority for the provincial government then it would be in place already.

“Why don’t we have it yet?”

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Maritime Electric, Islanders

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Recent comments

  • the cheaper option
    May 08, 2014 - 21:23

    You know what's cheaper than building a third cable and building more generation capacity and buying expensive NB or NS or NL electricity Wes? CONSERVATION. You invest in conservation programs to move everyone off their high-electrical-demand lifestyles and you won't need the cable. PEI has not increased in population a lot since 1977 when those 2 existing cables were installed. What changed? Oh yeah, you allowed all those suckers to put in heat pumps. Wrong decision dude.

  • PLEASE EXPLAIN
    May 08, 2014 - 21:04

    Please explain to me why any taxpayers money is spent to install the cable when Maritime Electric owned by FORTIS (a multi multi million dollar PRIVATE company) will get 100 per cent of the profits from the cable.

    • Fortis shareholder
      May 09, 2014 - 06:03

      Because you owe me bud! I invested in this company and it provides you with the juice. If you want Fortis to put in the cable, your power rates are going to go to 18 cents/kwh. If the government does it and gives it to us, then your rates will still go to 18 c/kwh but only by 2020 or so.

  • Walt
    May 08, 2014 - 11:24

    See Wes The HST! That was easy, you told the truth. Why didn't you do that when your department was negotiating the HST before the last election. I can tell you why because the good people would bounce your ass out of politics. But they will get their chance soon.

    • peg
      May 08, 2014 - 22:53

      Oh you of little faith - Wes Sheridan is the greatest thing to happen toPEI since Robert Ghiz ! They have lifetime pensions many times what the majority will ever make. God bless Wes.